By 2021, the oldest Democracy of the world, USA, completes 231 years. Here are some lessons of experience, that a political Scientist shared with me.
‘Freedom’ gets overstretched
The forefathers of the USA, to protect people from the high handedness of the government, gave certain inalienable rights to the people.
One such right has been the right to freedom of speech.
But as time went by it got stretched to ‘freedom of speech and expression’, just because English Language Dictionary mixed it up and it suited some.
Were the forefathers of USA not aware of freedom of speech and expression? Why did they write ‘freedom of speech’ and not freedom of speech and expression?
Speech humans make by mouth. The expression can be completely bodily and visual. When protesters brandish swords and other weapons, that is an expression, not speech.
To check overstretching of Freedom, Democracies need well-armed Police
Kneeling to the demands of defunding the police by congressmen in USA made them run for life on Jan 6, 2021. To check overstretching the freedom, democracies, logically, need adequate and well- armed police.
The members of the police should have full right to use firm arms to self-defend. If they can’t self-defend, what defense will they provide to others? Not of the sort, often seen in the biggest democracy of the world, India.
Of more recent, during Delhi riots in 2020, a person has been seen aiming a pistol on the policeman and the policeman is standing there with that ‘danda’, which is good for at best scaring dogs. The same thing happened on Jan 26, 2021. Policemen should be equipped with firearms which they can use in self-defense, without waiting for any orders from anybody. For defending others, you need to be alive yourself first.
The oldest democracy of the world used national guards on Jan 20, 2021, to keep the peace. And the peace was kept.
The publisher must be responsible for the contents published
That was the norm till it was printed press. There have been cases where publishers have been jailed or even murdered just because content was published in their publication. After the online, that responsibility has simply evaporated. Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act, 1934 is most mis-interpreted and freedom of the media, particularly social, extraordinarily stretched. All freedom, no accountability. Top (advertisement) revenue, no responsibility.
Democracies Need be Nationalist more than Globalist
Democracy, by structure, is easy to incite division and strife. There is an opposition all the time ready to incite. And they are the easiest targets even for foreign intervention. Funding through NGOs, Misinformation campaigns and grant of asylum in the name of domestic persecution have been the common grounds of interference and creating strife.
Democratic leadership instead of caring about what foreign media or diplomats say, they should do what is best for their nation, as mandated by the majority voters. Indeed, if they notice that there is a foreign country providing safe sanctuary to anti-national elements, that nations should be asked to mend, or diplomatic relationships should be severed. Anti- national’s supporter is national enemy.
There is no better form of social, political, and economic governance than democracy. But for strong and vibrant democracies, they need keep reinventing themselves in the light of their experiences and the changing environment.